2024 Playoffs: East Semifinals | Celtics (1) vs. Cavaliers (4)

Cavs get back forward Dean Wade against Celtics; Jarrett Allen still out with rib injury

Wade is making his playoff debut in Game 3 against the Celtics after being sidelined the past two months by a strained right knee.

Dean Wade has been sidelined since March 8 with a strained right knee.

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers forward Dean Wade made his playoff debut in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night after being sidelined the past two months by a strained right knee. Wade finished with five points and three assists in just under 17 minutes of action in a 106-93 loss.

Wade hadn’t played since March 8, three days after he scored a career-best 23 points — 20 in the fourth quarter — to fuel a comeback win over the Celtics.

While Wade gives Cleveland some depth, the Cavs remain without starting center Jarrett Allen, who missed his sixth straight game with badly bruised ribs.

Allen got hurt during the Cavs’ opening-round series against Orlando and missed the final three games, including Game 7. He sat out the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Celtics as Evan Mobley moved from forward to center.

The Cavs had hoped the 6-foot-11 Allen, who played at an All-Star level for much of this season and was dominant against the Magic, would be back by now. But his ribs are still sore and he’s not quite ready.

What Wade’s return means: The 27-year-old Wade gives coach J.B. Bickerstaff more depth and another shooter for the Celtics to worry about.

The 6-foot-9 forward only averaged 5.4 points in 54 games this season, but he had his best game as a pro against the Celtics on their last visit to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Wade made six 3-pointers — all five in the fourth — as the Cavs rallied from a 22-point deficit in the fourth to stun the Celtics.